Yesterday the Caddis Fly and Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 hosted the second annual 2009 McKenzie River Two-Fly Tournament.
This year we had nine boats and 18 anglers, competing for high end gear from Sage and Rio, a guided trip with Karl Mueller and a great selection of fly fishing books from Angler’s Book Supply. Click here for a full rundown of the rules and prizes.
All of the money raised (nearly $4000 after expenses) went to McKenzie River Trust to assist with the removal of a levee and road along a side channel in the north portion of the Trust’s Green Island property on the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. The structure was built in the 1970’s and restricts natural floodplain activity during the flooding events. The removal of this structure and additional dirt mounds along the historic McKenzie channel will complete’ the Trust’s levee removal actions in the north portion of the island. Look for more info on McKenzie River Trust’s Green Island property and specifics about why we chose this project to benefit from this tournament later this week. You can read more about how the Trust spent the $2500 we raised last year.
It’s fitting that the money and restoration are going into the Lower McKenzie, since that’s where the big boys came out to play yesterday. Guide Jeff Carr and his dudes, Ron Mosher and Steve Skidmore from Ex-Officio, cleaned up with 54″ on the team’s biggest three fish. The largest fish was conservatively 20″, with two inches hanging over the edge of the official 18″ ODFW fish measuring devices. Carr and his team covered a lot of the lower river, fishing from Bellinger to Armitage with mega-princes fished under an indicator.
The majority of the boats fished up high, putting in at Frissell, Paradise and McKenzie Bridge. It was tough going for the boats in the upper river, with cold water and cold air temps making the fish hug the bottom. October Caddis and Shortwing Stoneflies had been all over the past few days, but on Saturday, the bugs never really erupted, and folks who picked big dry flies had a tough day.
Nonetheless, the teams up high caught some beautiful native redside rainbow trout. Chris Daughters’ father-son team of Dick and TJ Matteri came in second with 46″, followed by guide Ethan Nickel’s team of Andy Mcwilliams and Doug Schaler.
Special thanks to the guides who donated their time for habitat restoration, and for all the participants.
The Caddis Fly Shop
Angler’s Book Supply
The Flyfish Journal
We’d like to also thank Kathy McCartney for her beautiful artwork, donated and auctioned off to benefit Trout Unlimited Chapter 678, as well as Kim at the Oregon Electric Station for making Friday night a huge success.